Last week, I talked about the sorry case of Senegal where every ten years, Senegalese wage bloody battles to dethrone sit-tight leaders only for the former opposition leader, installed by the sweat and blood of Senegalese to turn round to become the sit-tight leader and the process of unseating him being repeated. I noted how tiring such a circus movement is.
Well, in Nigeria, although we are utterly incapable of speaking with one voice as a people (due to our fractious ethnoreligious configuration where any action against a sitting president is automatically seen as an action against the ethnic/religious group he represents), we have our own circus, which happens quite frequently.
The only way I know that there is a new police chief in town is when I see the announcement that the new chief has ordered the withdrawal of police officers attached to Very Important Persons (known as VIPs in Nigeria) and the dismantling of notorious and ubiquitous police roadblocks across the country.
The moment a new police chief is appointed, he terminates all the businesses initiated by his predecessor and renegotiates the deals, postings, and assignments anew. Who doesn’t like money?
Why do all new police chiefs make the same order then? Well, welcome to Nigeria! For the uninitiated, the VIPs pay huge sums of money for the policemen and women assigned to them. Also, roadblock business is a multi-billion-dollar business in Nigeria. So, the moment a new police chief is appointed, he terminates all the businesses initiated by his predecessor and renegotiates the deals, postings, and assignments anew. Who doesn’t like money?
Macky Sall admits defeat!
Talking about Senegal, the cocky Macky Sall, the same person Senegalese made president in 2012 with their sweat and blood, has been playing games, toying with the idea of violating the constitution to run for a third term. Well, his ambition has ignited a huge popular resistance, as usual, which has already claimed 17 lives and led to 600 political detainees.
But Senegalese are not backing down and Sall probably knows the outcome: regardless of whatever he does, he is still going to be voted out of office next year. He seems to have accepted the inevitable and announced earlier in the week that he will not be seeking a third term in office “even if the constitution” allowed him to do so. That is how the Senegalese roll; they have been in the business of messing up sit-tight leaders and mini-dictators for a while now.
The people must be watchful, however. The battle isn’t won yet. That was how Alassane Ouattara, the power monger France and other West African countries fought a real war just to install as president, promised not to run for a third term, but when the puppet he recruited to stand in for him suddenly died, he changed his mind and ran anyway.
The people of Senegal, real heroes of democracy in Africa, must remain vigilant to ensure the scoundrel doesn’t spring a surprise or foist a puppet on them.
Go back to Africa: return of nativism in France
The riots that followed the police killing of a teenager in France last week have ignited another spasm of nativism in France. All over social and even mainstream media, hitherto closeted French nationalists and racists are now hiding under the destruction caused by rioters to advocate for the restoration of a pure White/Caucasian France and the expulsion of all peoples of colour, as they say (I have a hard time understanding this term, but it’s a discussion for another day) to where they came from. And it is not as if these feelings are new anyway.
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In November last year, a right-wing French parliamentarian shouted “Go back to Africa” in parliament at a black lawmaker who was speaking.
Following the riots, however, these sentiments, which were thought to exist only in the fringes of French society, have bubbled over and are being expressed openly and everywhere in France. To add salt to injury, a GoFundMe page created to assist the officer who needlessly shot the teenager had raised over $1 million by Monday while a similar page created to assist the family of the murdered teenager struggled to raise $250, 000.
Anyway, the trend in Europe is clear, a race to nationalism and nativism. I foresee a President Marie Le Pen very soon in France. It’s just that I wish those shouting that black and Arab French people should go back to Africa can tell France to “hands-off Africa” too.